by Matt Delaney
Playing three Bull Run District games over the past week, George Mason’s varsity girls basketball team went 2-1 during that stretch by defeating Madison County High School on Wednesday, Jan. 13 and Clarke County High School on Friday, Jan. 15 before falling to Central High School on Tuesday, Jan. 19.
Against Central, Mason found themselves in a frustrating position. Leading early in the third quarter 26-19 after a three-pointer by sophomore guard Nicole Bloomgarden, the team began to lose its grip on the game while Central began to find theirs.
A slim 31-30 lead entering the fourth was wiped out by Central, who built on that lead after consecutive trips to the free throw line, ending the game 45-37 in Central’s favor.
“It was just a tale of two halves,” head coach Michael Gilroy said. “We played the same kinda style in the first half that we did in the second and [the referees] called it a little tighter. We need to be able to adjust to refs calls and we need to be able to attack on offense to see if we can get those same touches.”
Mason had their chances late in the game, but an offense that predicates their rhythm on jumpers around the perimeter had trouble sinking shots, compounding other hurdles the team was struggling to overcome.
“It has a lot to do with us not hitting our shots,” junior guard Sarah Lubnow said. “Kinda makes it hard to do everything else.”
An ugly, unwelcome loss Tuesday night was preceded by ugly, but far more welcome wins the previous week against Madison County and Clarke County.
Gilroy has stuck by his mantra that he’ll “take any win, whether it’s ugly or pretty.”
“We’re finding different ways to win,” Gilroy said. “I’ve consistently said we’ve got a young group. We’ve gotta learn how to win, and win in different environments and different styles, which we’ve been able to do.”
Mason plays their next game on the road against Warren County High School on Thursday, Jan. 21.